Restrictions ease allowing more travel


VICTORIA’S ‘ring of steel’ around metropolitan Melbourne has been disbanded as the state moves towards the final step in its roadmap towards COVID-normal.

On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced regional and metropolitan Victoria would be reunited after more than a week with no new cases of COVID-19 detected statewide.

People can now travel freely throughout the state, and households can now have two adult visitors each day.

To complement the relaxed travel restrictions, accommodation providers are able to reopen, although bookings will be restricted to members of a single household or intimate partners, plus a maximum of two other adults.

Indoor tourism spaces will be open subject to restrictions, and tour operators will be required to observe physical distancing requirements.

Indoor entertainment spaces such as cinemas and concert halls will reopen, also subject to distancing requirements.

In welcome news for gym attendees, indoor exercise spaces can open with a strict rule of one person per eight square metres and a maximum of 10 people per space in a session.

Indoor non-contact sport will resume for children under the age of 18, while indoor pools can also reopen with a maximum of 20 patrons at a time.

Skateparks and play centres can also reopen to people under 18, and facilities such as libraries and community centres can now host 10 people per space up to a maximum of 20 people.

Up to 50 people can now attend funerals and religious gatherings if they are outdoors, but a limit of 10 people at weddings will remain until November 22, when Mr Andrews said

Victoria would move to the last step of the COVID roadmap.

Included in the final step are increased limits of 100 people in indoor seated venues, restaurants and weddings, but nightclubs will remain closed.

“It’s really important that people stick within these rules,” Mr Andrews said.

“Reflecting the progress we’ve made – the state of disaster will not be renewed. But because the virus is still very much with us, the state of emergency will be extended until December 6 to allow the chief health officer’s directions to remain in force.

“From November 22 – and in line with the public health advice – Victoria is on track to reach the last step in our roadmap towards reopening.

“We have worked so hard. We have given up so much. And together, we’ve come so far.

“We’ve got to protect it. So, let’s stay safe, stay open – and keep going.”